Search
Username
Pin It
Favorite

Balancing Act 

Les Claypool: still funky, still a badass on the bass

screen_shot_2013-08-21_at_9.27.52_am.png

Flanked by two giant astronaut statues with creepy eyes peering out into the crowd, Primus front man Les Claypool slaps his guitar into a disjointed, yet sublimely coherent, bass line. Swirls of color emerge from the 3D graphics broadcast behind him and float over the crowd at this year's SASQUATCH! Music Festival.

"When it's all said and done, I'm a bass player," explained Claypool during an interview with the Source. "I've written a novel, made a film; we're even making wine now. But I play the bass. I excel at it." (He is also an avid fisherman.)

In Primus—despite a nearly ever-changing lineup—Claypool found an outlet not only to excel at the bass guitar, but almost invent a new breed of sounds by mashing together funk and rock. His playing is quirky yet thick. Primus' music is like the soundtrack to a rock circus.

During Primus' 30 years, the band has released only seven albums—the result of taking a few hiatuses—which has allowed Claypool to put varying faces on his explosive creativity. The aforementioned 2006 novel—South of the Pumphouse—used blue-collar language to bring to life two very different brothers and an ill-fated fishing trip. That same year, Claypool released a film he wrote and directed titled Electric Apricot, a mockumentary about a filmmaker documenting the tour of a fictitious jam band bearing the same name. Primus also penned the theme song for Comedy Central's animated series "South Park."

"You know, I'm juggling a lot of balls in the air," said Claypool. "Plus I'm raising teenagers. For me if I'm not moving forward doing things it brings me down. So I tend to overextend myself."

Right now that overextension is taking the shape of a rock and roll fishing show with alt-rock fixture Deen Ween.

In addition, for the past couple of years, Claypool has been back in the swing of playing the bass guitar. After a decadelong leave of absence from the studio, Primus released the politically charged album Green Naugahyde in 2011 and started a heart-pounding psychedelic 3D tour.

"Some people, when they go through stress," explained Claypool, "they go jogging or play tennis; some people smoke crack. For me, I just pick up my bass."

Les Claypool's Duo de Twang

6 p.m. Saturday, August 24

The Century Courtyard

70 S.W. Century Dr.

Tickets $28 at www.ticketswest.com or Ranch Records

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Join Our Newsletter

Latest in Sound Features

  • Ascending to Something

    Ascending to Something

    Members of Riot on a Sunday connected via email to form the latest iteration of their musical careersBy Anne Pick Bring Your Dancin' BootsBend's Dry Canyon Stampede fills the void where a country western dance band had been missing
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • Get Down

    Get Down

    The California Honeydrops take their infectious, high-energy sound on the road ahead of a new album
    • Dec 6, 2017
  • Tales of a Troubadour

    Tales of a Troubadour

    Singer-songwriter John Craigie is a storyteller, in both musical and spoken form
    • Dec 6, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

© 2017 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation